Having assigned several Homework Projects during the year, I was a little nervous about this particular project. That's because our team had never assigned this one before. But, bottom line, it turned out hugely successful. So I wanted to share it with you. I've include a link to a FREEBIE download that includes the Project Instructions, Grading Rubric and Presentation Preparation Outline. It is in MS WORD format, so you can easily customize it to your needs.
Let's begin with the preparation by the teacher. This project was assigned AFTER we had completed out integrated Language Arts/Social Studies unit on American Symbols and Landmarks. There was a lot of in class teaching on how to do research using selected websites, read alouds and shared readings. We knew that the students would now have a lot of background knowledge and research skills to complete the project at home. We also had to address the Common Core State Standards for writing as well as, speaking and listening. We also covered the current Social Studies standards still in effect in California. It was a very integrated project.
In class, one way to organize the research the student had done on a particular symbol or landmark was to use an Interactive Digital Notebook that I created for Google Slides. Students did research online (with selected links by me) and real books to fill in information on the slides. I also created a Google Maps project in which I selected a bunch of Washington, D.C. landmarks, famous US landmarks and California landmarks. Each landmark on the maps was linked to embedded photos and videos, which the student used for research. Before the unit was concluded, I began putting together the flap books each student would need to document their research.
Flap Book Preparation
Thank goodness I found a flap book template from TpT seller, Tracee Orman. You can find the link to her resource HERE. The directions are very clear and it is a fully customizable template that you can use with any subject. I added to each page the particular information we needed as part of their research, printed a master and then duplicated the pages for the students. Then it is just a matter of folding and stapling. All told, it took about 30 minutes to put the flap books together. We decided as a grade level team to limit the choices of the symbol or landmark to 6 (3 of each: bald eagle, US flag, Liberty Bell, White House, Statue of Liberty and Washington Monument).
Some of the key instructions we gave to students:
- print neatly in the book (or type it and cut and paste it directly onto the page)
- research using the links provided or books from the library
- for the model, NO kits! Must be hand made by the student
- illustrations are HAND DRAWN, no printing out images
- illustrations must be colored in
- model must be no larger than a shoe box
- no glitter please! (that's my own personal preference...that stuff gets everywhere!)
- parents may HELP, but it is mostly done by the student
For the presentation part, we are currently teaching them how to make a presentation based on the Common Core Standard SL.3.4. They have been practicing how to make a presentation in class. They do this first by writing out their presentation according to our criteria and then memorizing it. We teach them how to speak clearly and loudly. We teach them presentation techniques of eye contact, using hands appropriately, etc. The model is used in conjunction with the presentation as they will use it to describe key features of their landmark or symbol.
I was very impressed with the quality of the research and the fabulous 3D models. Check out the results below!
Here are the results!
Download the FREEBIE!
If you would like to download the Homework Project FREEBIE, Click HERE.
Now that the students are PROS at research and presenting, they have just received their newest Homework Project: Planet Project. We are now concluding our Solar System/Language Arts Unit and the students will pick a planet to research and make an accordion book for it. Then they will make a 3D model of their planet to use in a presentation on their planet. Stay tuned for that project!